When I first read this back in 2011, I remember being on a road trip with a friend to go visit another mutual friend of ours. They had this book on their shelf when I got there and I saw it and remember making a beeline for it and asking if I could read it while there. They were courteous enough to allow me to, which I appreciated.
And then the first day of our four day trip there I spent reading this book. Rude? Maybe a tad, but my buddies were also readers so they understood. I literally read this book in a day originally. I remember not being able to put it down at all. I think I read it in two sittings? I stopped for dinner or lunch or something. But it was totally addicting and I remember loving it even more than The Hunger Games.
And this time around, it was the same deal: I zoomed through this. I started with my physical copy but once I decided to re-arrange my books again on my shelves, I switched over to the audio so I could listen while I fiddled with my other books. I didn’t finish it in a day like I did last time, but it was still rather damned quick.
The biggest thing I forgot about this book was how little time was actually spent in the Hunger Games arena – it’s only the last what, maybe third of the book? And the first two thirds are all world building and political strife and whatnot. I seriously forgot all about it, and reading it was like doing so for the first time.
I think I saw the movie for this book maybe three or four years ago – it’s been a while – but I remember now how much the movie left out. There was so much political maneuvering and side character interactions that happened in this book that just weren’t present in the movie. I really, really enjoyed all the build up in this one and feel like the exhibition of it was fantastic.
I mentioned in my previous post that I could see where team Katniss/Nobody was coming from this time around, and with this book that viewpoint only strengthened for me. This book starts the love triangle, the ugh you’re killing me roll my eyes love triangle that’s happening in the middle of an uprising. While I can see now that Katniss is definitely confused when it comes to where her feelings lie, and that she has admitted feelings for Gale and at least potential ones for Peeta, I still feel like she should just deal with the problem at hand, but hey, in the famous words of Mick Jagger, you can’t always get what you want.
I feel like this book set up the last one really well and it culminated with the cliff hanger at the end. I really like how little Katniss is aware of the events going on outside of her own point of reference. She’s being returned to the arena and that’s a big issue yes, but there are also revolts in districts, elaborate plans to break apart the Hunger Games and save the competitors left alive. Katniss knew about some of it, but nowhere near all of it, nor was she involved except for involuntarily. She was a face of a movement before she knew one existed, and I thought it was set up really well – the revealing of information, the pacing, the cliffhangers. It was all great.
So this time around I gave this book a 4.5 stars, while last time I gave it a five. I enjoyed it as much this time as I did last time, but the boy pining kinda ground my gears, so half a star off it is.
One more book left, and then the sequel. If you’ve been rereading these recently or reading them for the first time, do tell me your thoughts.